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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
Due to advances in medicine, people with physical disabilities are living longer. While end-of-life care should be readily accessible for this group, the care needs of people with significant physical disabilities arguably adds an additional layer of complexity to such care. Dr Ruth Walker from Flinders University discusses end-of-life care needs for adults with long-standing physical disability and the new research she is involved in to explore the specific needs of people with physical disabilities who are at the end-of-life, as well as the needs of their families and the support staff who help care for them.
Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is the peak body for palliative care representing all those who work towards high quality palliative care for all Australians. Working with the government, it sets the standard by which services can be assessed. Kate Reed-Cox from PCA discusses how the new Palliative Care Self Assessment program provides services with a secure online portal to self-assess against the National Palliative Care Standards (5th ed.), and the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2nd ed.), resulting in a quality improvement action plan.
Many palliative care services are involved in quality improvement (QI) activities to make healthcare safer, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient and equitable. Professor Jennifer Tieman and Dr Katrina Erny-Albrecht from CareSearch discusses different QI approaches and the importance of evaluating these approaches to improve quality care.